Is your refrigerator getting grungy? If you can’t remember when you last gave it a thorough cleansing, now may be a good time. The good news is you don’t need harmful chemicals! Here’s how.
Begin by taking everything out. This is also a good opportunity to toss any food that’s expired or past its prime. Check “use by” dates and FDA guidelines to determine what’s “old.”
Wet a clean microfiber cloth with lukewarm water and give it a good wring. Fold it a couple of times so you have plenty of clean sides to use, unfolding to a fresh side as needed. No need for any cleaning chemicals, which could leave a residue and wind up on your food.
Condenser coils are the black coils found on the bottoms of newer refrigerators and on the backs of most older ones. Cleaning the coils every six months or so will help your fridge run more efficiently and can extend its life.
Be sure to unplug it or turn it off first. Then if you have an older refrigerator and you’re able to, pull it away from the wall, taking care not to scrape the floor. For a newer fridge, unclamp the bottom panel at the front.
Use a soft-bristled brush to remove as much dust and dirt as you can. Go over it with a vacuum till the dirt is all gone.
Because yeast and mold can build up on the spout, you’ll want to clean it every month or so. A pipe cleaner or drinking-straw cleaning brush works great.
Check to see if it’s time to replace the external water filter as recommended by the manufacturer.
Your freezer’s ice bin can also harbor yeast and mold. To clean it, turn off the ice maker, remove the bin and discard the ice. Using lukewarm water, your microfiber cloth and a mild dishwashing liquid, wash the bin and rinse it well. Make sure it’s dry before replacing it in the freezer.
Not only can a neglected or dirty fridge cost you more money in energy bills and cause food to spoil more quickly, it’s also not healthy. According to WebMD.com, food labeled with a “sell-by” date should be used within five days of that date. When in doubt, throw it out!